Friday, October 30, 2015

Pepe Escobar — The Caliph at the gates of Vienna

History has a jolly habit of repeating itself as surrealist farce. Is it 1683 all over again, with the Ottoman Empire laying siege to Vienna just to be defeated by the “infidels” at the last minute?
No; it’s 2015 and a Caliph simulacrum – Ibrahim, a.k.a. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — has prompted a gaggle of world powers, lesser powers and assorted minions to converge to Vienna to discuss how to defeat him.
Westphalians, we got a problem. None of this makes any sense if Iran is not at the table discussing a solution for the Syrian tragedy. Moscow knew it from the start. Washington — reluctantly — had to admit the obvious. But the problem was never Iran. The problem is the ideological matrix of goons who metastasize into Caliphs: Saudi Arabia.…
Asia Times
The Caliph at the gates of Vienna
Pepe Escobar


Dan Lynch said...

And the plot thickens with US boots on the ground in Syria on the pretense of fighting ISIS but more likely with an aim to establish a Western-controlled partition of Syria, similar to the partition of Korea.

Putin has played his cards well up to this point, but it's tough to see how he's going to handle the U.S. meddling?

To defeat the terrorists and control the territory before the US grabs it, someone will have to put tens of thousands of boots on the ground. Airstrikes alone will not do the job.

Peter Pan said...

Maybe Assad will go for a partition. Maybe ISIS will have their caliphate, if they play their cards right.

Ignacio said...

ISIS don't want to sit at any negotiating table neither want their enemies (except maybe the regime and the 'moderates -friendly terrorists-).

The existence of ISIS is an excellent excuse for permanent training ground and exercises, military spending etc. Now Russia has 2/3 excellent training grounds at low cost that don't require extra spending: Syria, Chechnya and eastern Ukraine. The Russian army will be in much better shape than any western army if any proxy war starts than the western counterpart... at all this provided by neocon crazy policy.

Such a bargain for Putin!

Ignacio said...

Not to say that the managed chaos strategy needs things like ISIS, and neither Iran or the Saud house will never allow them to gain permanent control of any territory (for different reasons).

lastgreek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lastgreek said...

"Airstrikes alone will not do the job."

...the Russian air campaign has an advantage over that of the Americans in that it has been launched in support of an effective regular army. The US never dared to attack IS when it was fighting the Syrian army because Washington didn’t want to be accused of keeping Assad in power. The US approach has left it without real allies on the ground, aside from the Kurds, whose effectiveness is limited outside Kurdish majority areas. The crippling weakness of US strategy in both Iraq and Syria has been to pretend that a ‘moderate Sunni opposition’ either exists or can be created. For all America’s fierce denunciations of Russian intervention, some in Washington can see the advantage of Russia doing what the US can’t do itself.

-- Patrick Cockburn


Dan Lynch said...

@LastGreek, agree with that, but my point was that tens of thousands more troops are needed in addition to what is there now.

The Syrian army is small and battle weary. The Iranian and Hezbollah troops numbers are small. Their progress on the ground has been slow.

Remember when General Shinseki told Congress that several hundred thousand troops would be required to occupy Iraq after the invasion? Same deal here.

Peter Pan said...


Define permanent. It is within the realm of possibility that ISIS may outlast the House of Saud.